If there was one thing I saw and heard about at VMworld, was the number of third party collaborations that were taking place. While not explicitly stated by VMware at VMworld, the show floor had many different collaborations that were taking place. This level of collaboration shows a level of maturity within the virtualization and cloud vendor ecosystems. A maturity, that shows that the vendors understand the benefits of leveraging other companies to lower their overall costs while producing better and more attractive products. Some of the collaborations I saw where purely the resale of products, while others were integrations between products. Here are some that stuck in my mind:
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Last week there was a bit of a surprise when someone announced Catbird Security made an agreement to purchase vShield App and only App from VMware. This left quite a few of us scratching our heads wondering why VMware would let this particular security software go. This announcement was incorrectly relayed and quite far from the truth. Catbird Security has written an agreement with VMware to OEM vShield App. This OEM agreement provides Catbird with a missing piece to the security puzzle as well as proving out VMware’s concept of virtualization security, that they should be the low level bits providing an API for higher level tools to use.
So you are a loyal VMware customer. You have licenses for vSphere 4 and you are about 40% virtualized. Based upon the revised vRAM entitlements in the revised vSphere 5 licensing, you think you are going to be OK as you progress through the more demanding business critical purchased and custom developed applications that lie in front of you.
My conference schedule kept pace with the changes in the virtualization security ecosystem throughout the year. What are those changes?
- Auditors were educated at an ISACA event in Florida about the intrinsic security of most modern Type-1 hypervisors. Through out the year we saw auditors educated and becoming more involved in virtualization and cloud security. The advent of CloudAudit and the ISACA and other educational events surrounding virtualization have increased through out the year.
Christofer Hoff (@Beaker) and I had a short discussion on twitter the other day about the VMware Cloud Director (vCD) security guidance. We both felt it was a bit lite and missed the point of Secure Multi Tenancy. However, I feel even more strongly that people will implement what is in the vCD Guidance, vBlock Security Guidance, and the vSphere Hardening Guidance, and in effect have a completely insecure cloud. These three guides look at the problem as if they were singular entities and not as a whole.
This realization tied to Chad Sakac’s recent discussion on the 9/22 VMware Communities podcast leads me to believe that ‘good enough’ is no longer ‘good enough’ from a security perspective. Chad discussed that there need only be the vCloud Director administrator and the vSphere administrator to do the daily heavy lifting. That there would no longer be the need for a security, network, storage, and system specific administrators. In other words, OPEX savings.
Virtualization Security was one of the BIG Deals at VMworld with several announcements:
- VMware vShield Edge, App, and End Point
- Trend Micro will have the first product making use of vShield End Point
- Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG)
- HyTrust and their growing list of technology partners
But the biggest news is that Virtualization Security is finally on the radar of most if not all C-level as it is now seen as the gate to entering the cloud. But before we can solve the cloud security issue we have to solve the virtualization security issues. VMware’s announcement has the most impact on the virtualization security ecosystem. At once they are competing head-to-head with some vendors while providing a platform to use for other vendors.